Learn about pattern and line in art and draw a cat in the style of Laurel Burch. Includes a free pattern and line art handout printable.
Laurel Burch pattern and line cat art lesson
Let’s learn about the American artist Laurel Burch and her joyful art. We’ll learn about how pattern and line can be used as we draw cats in her style.
This lesson is one of our famous art lessons for children.
You can find our complete ready-made Cat Unit Study here.
In this lesson you can:
:: learn about the American artist Laurel Burch and see examples of her work
:: learn about pattern and line in art
:: download and print a free pattern and line art handout for your children to use as reference and inspiration
:: draw a cat like Laurel Burch using patterns and lines, and a wax / water resist technique
:: find more links to famous art lessons for children
:: find more links to our Cat Unit Study
Exploring Great Artists art lessons
Use the ready-made lessons in our exciting art program inspired by the great artists of the world, Exploring Great Artists. With profiles of each artist, materials lists, lesson plans, and creative, hands-on art projects for every featured artist you’ll be able to deliver the best art lessons around!
Who was Laurel Burch?
Laurel Burch was an American artist. She was born in 1945 in California.
She is know for her bright, cheerful drawings.
Despite suffering from a painful bone disease called Osteopetrosis, she used her art to explore her creativity and share joy and positivity.
Her pictures of cats, filled with patterns and shapes, are some of her most famous. She said:
“While I love to create a diverse array of animal characters, my cat family seems to grow the most! I could never choose one favorite fantastic feline anymore then I could choose one color over another. It is the perfusion of personalities and the wild explosion of patterns all together that set my artistic imagination afire. At the same time, each and every feline is special in its own way, just as real ones are. This is where I find the continuous joy in creating more cats.”
Cat art by Laurel Burch
Click through on these links to see examples of Burch’s pictures of cats. As you look at these drawings, answer these questions:
- What can you see?
- What words would you use to describe the pictures?
- What does the drawing make you think about?
- What patterns and lines can you see in the drawings?
Cats by Laurel Burch
Blue Cats with Butterflies by Laurel Burch
Using patterns and lines – free printable handout
You will notice that Burch’s cats are filled with pattern, shapes, and lines. Let’s explore this technique as we create our own cat pictures.
You can print a pattern and line art handout sheet (see below) to use as reference and inspiration in your drawings.
There are lots of ways to use pattern and line. You could:
:: use geometric shapes like circles, squares, and triangles. Draw big shapes and small shapes. Leave some as an outline only, colour some in. Put shapes inside shapes. Draw several shapes together to make repeating patterns
:: use lines: thin lines, thick lines. Long and short lines. Strait lines and wavy lines. Dashed, dotted, and zigzag lines. Draw one line on its own or combine several. Fill shapes with lines
:: make marks: crosses, swirls, and scribbles
:: make blocks of patterns
Look again at the pictures Burch’s cats above and she which of these pattern and line techniques she uses. Which ones do you want to use for your cat?
Drawing cats like Laurel Burch
:: sheet of paper or card
:: wax crayon or oil pastel
:: watercolour or craft paint
:: wide paint brush
Start by drawing the outline of a cat using a wax crayon or oil pastel. You can chose whether your cat is sitting, lying or walking.
Add a face.
Then fill your cat with patterns and lines, using wax crayon or oil pastel. You can use the designs Burch uses and the printable pattern and line handout (see below) for ideas on which marks to include.
Fill the cat’s body, legs, tail and ears.
When you have added all the shapes and lines you want to, paint over the cat using watercolour or craft paint.
Use a wide brush to sweep paint over the picture.
You can paint the cat all one colour, or use different colours for different sections.
You will notice the wax crayon / oil pastel lines resist the paint, making your design stand out.
More art lessons for children
Download the free printable ‘Pattern and Line Art Handout’
Click the image below to download the free ‘Pattern and Line Art Handout’ printable: